Sailing: Olympic success gives Burling America's Cup confidence

New Zealand's Peter Burling, left, and Blair Tuke celebrate their 49er FX men gold medal. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Peter Burling, left, and Blair Tuke celebrate their 49er FX men gold medal. Photo / AP

Peter Burling says clinching Olympic gold has injected him with confidence ahead of his next major assignment - winning the America's Cup.

Burling and Blair Tuke confirmed their status as two of the world's premier sailors, the Kiwi 49er pair completing four years of dominance in the class with a resounding win in Rio.

Both are cogs in Team New Zealand's campaign in Bermuda next June.

Burling, in particular, accepts he will carry substantial weight on his shoulders after being named to replace long-serving skipper Dean Barker.

"Now that we've got this one, we're pretty fired up to try to bring the Cup home as well," Burling told NZ Newswire.

"There will be a lot of scrutiny next year but we've had that here as well. We enjoy that, we enjoy the challenge of rising up to the pressure and getting the job done."

Burling says his Team NZ colleagues have been in touch with the pair since they wrapped up gold and said the win had given them a boost.

While the type of sailing is different, Burling says thriving on the big stage in Rio is an important guide to how he will cope in Bermuda.

"They're both the pinnacles of sport in their own regard," he said.

"The Olympics is the small boat sailing pinnacle of sport. The Cup's more of a technology race, it's more of a big team.

"But what we've managed to do here, coming in as favourites and taking that gold out, has given the boys back home (Team NZ) a lot of confidence."

Burling is excited by updates from Team NZ designers and developers.

While support staff will hardly rest in the lead-up to the Cup challenge, Burling and Tuke will get some time off over summer.

Their initial sailing commitments will be two more rounds of the America's Cup World Series, in Toulon in September and Fukuoka in November.

"We've got a great team that's been working super-hard for a long time.

I think we're in pretty good shape," Burling said.

"We employ something like 80 people at the moment and there's a massive amount of resource that goes into it.

"And it's absolutely huge what it does for the marine industry in NZ."

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